Many people abbreviate Christmas by writing “Xmas.” However, some people consider using an abbreviated form of Christmas to be offensive. These two conflicting viewpoints can be resolved when we learn more about the history of using Xmas as an abbreviation for Christmas.
Is “Xmas” Really About Atheists Taking the “Christ” out of “Christmas”?
For about 1,000 years, people have abbreviated the word “Christ” as either “XP” or “Xt.” “X” and “P” are derived from the uppercase versions of two Greek letters.
Devout Christians are offended by the word “Xmas” because they believe it is an attempt to make Christmas more of a secular holiday rather than a religious one. Some have speculated that the “X” is intended to symbolize the cross Christ was crucified on, but there has been no proof of that being the case. The evidence for the “X” representing Christ is clear when we look at other words that have “X” used as an abbreviation such as “xtal” for crystal and “xant” for chrysanthemum. Xian was often used during the 1500s as an abbreviation for Christian, and Xianity was used as an abbreviation for Christianity.
It’s Only Four More Letters
It might be prudent to avoid using “Xmas” simply because it offends some people. Many firmly believe it is a way to commercialize Christmas and make it devoid of any religious sentiments. In any event, it seems that most people simply don’t know the history of the abbreviation Xmas. People who use the abbreviation aren’t aware that it has been used for centuries and neither are those who are opposed to the use of this abbreviation.
Just remember, whether you spell it “Christmas” or “Xmas”, keep the remember the reason for the season and keep the holiday spirit alive.